John Fennelly, Lead WriterThis week, the Giants will host the Cowboys at MetLife. Should the Giants win, both teams will be 5-6 and sit just a game behind the Eagles in the NFC East. It will give Giant fans hope and the possibilities of qualifying for the postseason become clearer. They’ve gotten some breaks to help them clamber back from an impossible 0-6 hole, and are poised to make history if they can keep winning.
That’s the good news. Now, here’s the reality.
Even with a win, the Giants’ playoff/division chances remain a long shot. As we pointed out yesterday, both Philadelphia and Dallas have softer schedules the rest of the way. I understand the Giants love to do things the hard way, but they’ve really put their backs up against the wall this time.
Dallas is reeling right now, mainly because of glut of injuries to key players. But they will be getting many of those players back in next two weeks. DE DeMarcus Ware and WR Miles Austin will play this week in New York. MLB Sean Lee will not play, but the Cowboys believe he may be back for next week’s game against Oakland. The rest of the way, the Cowboys travel to Chicago and Washington and host Green Bay and Philadelphia. That is why it is so important for the Giants to win this week.
Philadelphia has been practically unbeatable with Nick Foles under center. They’ve won four of the five games that he’s started this season, the only loss was to Dallas in a game which Foles left due to a concussion. The Eagles are 31st against the pass, but their final five contests they will be going up against three of the worst pass defenses in the league in Dallas (32nd), Detroit (30th) and Minnesota (29th). They also face Arizona (20th) and Chicago (17th). If Foles stays upright, the Eagles can win at least three of those five and finish at 9-7.
After Dallas, the Giants have the Redskins twice, San Diego on the road and Seattle and Detroit at home. Let’s not be reminded that the Redskins have beaten the Giants three of the past four meetings (including the 17-16 loss which was the turning point of last season). The Blue is also 0-2 against Philip Rivers. The Seahawks have Super Bowl written all over them and the Lions have a pitch-catch combo that the Giants may not be able to overcome.
Through all this, many still believe the Giants have a shot at the postseason. They’ve won four games over teams that started backup, or inexperienced QBs. They also continue to make mistakes – both of omission and commission – that good teams will capitalize on and use to bury them.
Unless they play nearly flawless football the remainder of the way, they will be on the outside looking in this January for the fourth time in five seasons.
Unless you’re buying into the hype, the Giants are realistically looking at 7-9, 8-8 at best. It won’t be good enough, I’m afraid.